What’s the Easiest Way to Stay Safe on the Job? We’ve Got the Answer
Each month, we’ll highlight a hand tool, power tool or anything specifically used in the erection of an Armstrong Steel Building system. We’ll talk about what these tools are used for, and how they’re used on your steel building.
We really can’t stress the term, ‘Safety First’ enough. In the first page of our erection manual, you’ll find we list safety as the top priority in building erection. With this in mind, we couldn’t continue this series without emphasizing the importance of job site safety, and safety equipment. Armstrong Steel suggests people follow the guidelines of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and recommends all workers use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE’s) whenever necessary to prevent accidents and ensure safe working conditions for all parties present.
What are some of the essential PPE’s and other safety equipment needed in the steel building erection process?
Hard Hat – Employees working in spaces where there is a possible danger of head injury from falling objects must be protected by appropriate headgear. OHSA divides hard hats into 3 industrial classes: Class A hard hats provides impact and penetration resistance along with limited voltage protection. Class B hard hats provide the highest level of protection against electrical hazards. Class C hard hats offer lightweight comfort and impact protection but no defense against electrical threats. Don’t forget about ear protection, if necessary. The Armstrong Steel Erection and Safety Manual recommends 5-11 hard hats, one for every member of your crew, in the minimum basic tool package for 5-7 man erection crews.
Safety Goggles – Select the appropriate eye protection for each individual steel building erector. There are several types of eye protection, from welding and chipping goggles, cutting spectacles with side shields, to tinted lenses or face shields. OSHA specifies that eye and face protection should guard against specific workplace hazards. The Armstrong Steel Erection and Safety Manual recommends 13 pairs of goggles, three cutting goggles and 10 pairs of safety goggles, in the minimum basic tool package for 5-7 man erection crews.
Gloves – Safety gloves are made for a wide variety of materials and are designed for many types of workplace hazards. Just like goggles, the nature of the danger and the operation involved will determine what type of glove is used in the erection process. Protective gloves come in different types of leather, canvas, mesh, fabric, and rubber. The Armstrong Steel Erection and Safety Manual recommends 10 pairs of gloves in the minimum basic tool package for 5-7 man erection crews.
Safety Harnesses – When erecting a steel building, include safety belts, lifelines, lanyards, and safety netting in your safety equipment collection. This equipment should constantly be tested to safeguard workers, and prevent them from falling. OSHA states, “Lifelines shall be secured above the point of operation to an anchorage or structural member capable of supporting a minimum dead weight of 5,400 pounds.” The Armstrong Steel Erection and Safety Manual recommend 5-7 harnesses, and netting and tie off rigging as required in the minimum basic tool package for 5-7 man erection crews.
First Aid Kit – Have a First Aid kit on hand just in case workers suffer an injury. Pack the first aid kit with bandages, gauze pads, antibiotic packets and antiseptic wipes. Include a flashlight in your kit and store it near other safety equipment, like a fire extinguisher, at your jobsite. The Armstrong Steel Erection and Safety Manual recommends 1 first aid kit and 1 extinguisher in the minimum basic tool package for 5-7 man erection crews.
Don’t forget to train each worker in the use of particular PPE’s. There could be more or less equipment necessary to maintain a safe job site. Develop a hazard assessment to identify potential dangers specific to your workplace. Don’t take any risks when it comes to job safety. Always, ‘play it safe.’
Like blogs like this? Read our Future First Time Builders section, where we’ll profile a Tool of the Trade once a month. Be sure to check back frequently!